By Mark Wachtler
September 23, 2014. Carbondale, IL. (ONN) It’s a rematch in the race for the 12th US Congressional District in Illinois. And according to national Republican pollsters, first-term Democratic incumbent Bill Enyart is one of the many vulnerable Congressmen currently in jeopardy of being thrown out of office this November. Nobody would like to see than more than the Green Party candidate for the seat Paula Bradshaw.
Paula Bradshaw, Green Party candidate for US Congress from Illinois CD 12. Image courtesy of Paula4Congress.org.
Two years ago, Democrat Bill Enyart won election for the open 12th US Congressional seat in this far downstate Illinois district. In that race, he defeated Republican Jason Plummer and the Greens’ Paula Bradshaw. This time around, Bradshaw is back for a rematch against the extremely unpopular rookie Congressman. And with a month and a half before the General Election, Enyart’s most controversial vote may be his recent Yes vote to authorize President Obama’s war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
View the full Congressional Roll Call vote on last week’s authorization for a War on ISIS from the Illinois Herald’s sister publication Whiteout Press.
Bradshaw opposes Obama War on ISIS
In a statement issued only hours before the US House of Representatives voted to give President Obama authorization to wage war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Green Party Congressional candidate Paula Bradshaw announced that she opposed the Bill and what she described as, “Obama’s unconstitutional acts of war.”
For its part, the White House has insisted that the President’s declaration of war on ISIS is perfectly legal under Congress’ authorization for war in 2001. Paula Bradshaw disagrees saying, “Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility to declare War, to raise and support Armies, and to appropriate money to that use…The Constitution has been so degraded that we now have Congress meekly allowing Obama to openly declare, and exercise, the power to wage a war of aggression, which is illegal under the Constitution, the UN Charter and other established international law.”
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The Green Party candidate for Congress goes on to take a shot at the country’s corporate-owned news industry too. “Meanwhile, the media opines that if Obama did go to Congress and Congress refused to declare war, it would be a sign of Obama’s weakness, and not an outcome of representative democracy.”
On the backs of the taxpayers
Appealing to fiscal conservatives and blue dog Democrats, the Green’s Paula Bradshaw consistently points out that President Bush and his fellow pro-war Democrats and Republicans in Congress never paid for their first two wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, putting Americans trillions of additional dollars in debt. And now the two establishment parties and their defense industry contributors are launching another war.
“We are told that this is to keep us safe,” Bradshaw, the IL 12th District US Congressional candidate says, “This multi-billion dollar expense was also put on credit, and Americans are now being told that we must accept massive cuts in our social safety net, to ‘keep us safe’ from terrorists. But after 13 years of wars and repression, the ‘keep us safe’ Obama now tells us that we are still not safe. We must go deeper into debt to kill more people, because our trillion-dollar wars and Homeland Security has not done the trick.”
Paula Bradshaw goes on to take a stinging shot at the Obama administration’s secret and not-so-secret funding and arming of ISIS militants over the past two years. The Greens join Republicans who’ve spent the past year insisting that the entire Benghazi tragedy involving the murder of the US Ambassador in Libya was actually the result of secret arms deals facilitated by the CIA and the Clinton State Department to ISIS fighters attempting to topple the Assad regime in Syria.
“We must now bomb Syria, as he wanted to do last year,” Bradshaw says of President Obama and her November Congressional opponent Rep. Bill Enyart, “And since the last weapons we sent to the ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition were funneled to ISIS, his solution is to send more weapons to a non-existent ‘moderate’ opposition, and have them trained at a mere cost of $500 million, in Saudi Arabia - itself an Islamic state that regularly punishes offenders with beheadings, far outpacing ISIS in that category.”
Rep. Bill Enyart (D-IL) - pro-war, pro-spying, pro-censorship, pro-fracking
If one didn’t know better, it would seem the Green’s Paula Bradshaw should have an easy road to victory in the November General Election, with two Republican opponents and all. In 2013, we reported the fact that even progressive organizations like MoveOn.org were condemning Democratic Representative Enyart for breaking with fellow Democrats and siding with Republicans on votes against the implementation of Obamacare. Since then, Enyart has moved even further to the right, finding himself even more right wing than some conservative Republicans.
One example of that fact is Rep. Enyart’s unconditional support for Israel and its perpetual war against the Palestinians. As reported by OpenSecrets.org, the Democratic Congressman’s second biggest donor is the Israeli Super PAC called JStreet PAC. Another observation about Congressman Enyart’s funding is that only 7% of his financial contributions come from small individual donors. A full 92% of his campaign money is provided by PAC’s and large contributors.
Paula Bradshaw for Congress
The Green’s Paula Bradshaw looks to build on the past two elections’ successes and possibly even capture a surprise victory. Four years ago, Green candidate Rodger Jennings received only 3% of the vote in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District. In 2012, Bradshaw was the Green nominee and she increased that total by two percent, capturing 17,045 votes and 5.6%. In the only poll we’ve seen for the 2014 race, taken all the way back in April, Paula Bradshaw was already capturing 9% of respondents’ votes. The same poll showed the Democrat incumbent Bill Enyart polling just 37% and behind the front-runner by 6%.
Closing her announcement, Paula Bradshaw reminds voters that she not only supports fiscal responsibility, but a strong national defense. “Real defense means defending our own country, not going broke trying to dominate other countries,” the Green candidate explains, “Real security for the American people means rebuilding our energy and transportation infrastructure at home, providing full employment, healthcare for all, full quality educational opportunity for all, and restoring environmental health and civil liberties for all. It is time to stop the oil wars, and learn to live in peace with other peoples in the world. But we can’t get there with a Congress that refuses to stand up to executive abuses of power and that carries out the agenda of its big corporate paymasters. Real change can only begin by electing real representatives of the people to Congress.”
For more information on the Illinois Green Party’s Paula Bradshaw, visit Paula4Congress.org.
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